Waiting Your Turn: Wait Times for Health Care in Canada, 2016 finds that Canadian patients waited longer than ever this year for medical treatment. The median wait time in Canada in 2016 was 20 weeks—the longest ever recorded—and more than double the 9.3 weeks Canadians waited in 1993, when the Fraser Institute began tracking wait times for medically necessary elective treatments. Among the provinces, Ontario recorded the shortest wait time at 15.6 weeks—up from 14.2 weeks in 2015. New Brunswick recorded the longest wait time (38.8 weeks). It’s estimated that Canadians are currently waiting for nearly one million medically necessary procedures.
Comparing Performance of Universal Health Care Countries, 2016 finds that, among comparable countries with universal health care, Canada is the third highest spender but our performance ranks modest-to-low. Notably, Canada ranks 24 out of 28 countries for the number of physicians (2.59 per 1,000 people), and at the bottom for wait times.
Intellectual Property Rights and the Promotion of Biologics, Medical Devices, and Trade in Pharmaceuticals finds that if patent protections for drugs and medical devices were strengthened around the world, it could ultimately lower costs in Canada and help save lives by spurring innovation. And until stronger patent protections are established around the world, developed countries should streamline cross-border regulations for pharmaceuticals and medical devices, which would help reduce prices for patients and health-care systems.
Leaving Canada for Medical Care, 2016 estimates that more than 45,000 Canadians in 2015 received non-emergency medical treatment outside the country. Among the provinces, Ontario physicians reported the highest number of patients (22,352) leaving the country for treatment.
Less Ottawa, More Province: How Decentralization Is Key to Health Care Reform finds that, to fix Canada’s costly and under-performing health-care system, the federal government should learn from the welfare reforms of the 1990s that empowered provinces to lower costs while improving services. Last year, health-care costs consumed more than 40 per cent of provincial budgets on average, and they’re estimated to rise to more than 47 per cent by 2030.
The Price of Public Health Care Insurance, 2016 Edition helps Canadians better understand that health care is not free; Canadians pay for it through their tax bill. It finds that that the average Canadian family with two parents and two children earning $122,101 will pay $11,494 for public health care insurance in 2016.
The Biologics Revolution in the Production of Drugs, spotlights the emerging science of biologic medicines, which involve genetically engineering living cells to produce needed proteins. Biologics have shown great promise in the treatment, diagnosis and prevention of more than 250 diseases including a variety of cancers. The study finds that Canada’s protection of intellectual property (IP) for biologic medicines lags behind other countries, limiting access and stunting investment.